del Toro’s Cthulean Slumber
I’m running out of horror flicks to see, so last night I was happy to notice one I hadn’t watched on Amazon – ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’. There was a big warning sign – it was made in 2019. It was also produced by Guillermo del Toro, who despite his past interest in Lovecraft fiction, has been on a downward spiral of cringe and wokeness since… hard to tell.
The action was set in 60s Pennsylvania, the theme had been explored before – all they had to do was milk the cow of hippie nostalgia and film a decent adaptation of whatever pulp novel they based this on. They couldn’t.
From the start you realise what it’s all about: jocks vs. nerds. From the start you see the jock bullies – petty and ugly; Guillermo couldn’t ‘iron man’ their opponent, not even for the brief intrigue. Then we get to see the nerds – a bunch of obnoxious know-it-alls, in your face unattractive, void of genuine emotions, unable to deliver one convincing line and connect with the audience.
Oh and there’s an additional misfit – the token Latino guy; you first notice he’s a bit tanned but hope to God they won’t make a big deal out of it, despite current year madness. Not a chance, they will rub it in your face for the entire movie.
The jocks oppress the nerds, who fight back and are being chased. Luckily, they fuck off to a haunted mansion in the woods and – being such misfits living on the edge – summon the ghosts who used to live there – because there’s nothing to fear if you’re an outcast with a pure heart. Predictably, the ghosts and monsters become a tool of Social Justice retribution and start murdering the jocks one by one.
After the 1st jock went missing, killed by an oppressed scarecrow, you see a country police figure talking to the Latino (‘ey stranger, ye’r not from here, I thought you would be on your waaay’) and you instantly know where it’s going; the police will blame the Mexican dude for the jock’s disappearance. I couldn’t watch it afterwards.
In his Cthulean slumber, del Toro is reaching new depths of the abyss; I bet in 5 years time I will re-watch ‘The Shape of Water’ and regard it as a decent flick with artistic depth and real creativity beside the understandable ideologisation.